What Jesus “paid for” was a way out of an impossible situation caused by our “free agency.” But he didn’t pay for our agency in the first place.]]>
I draw the opposite conclusion. If “free agency” and “agency” cover the same ground in our discourse, than spending a lot of effort berating people and trying to get them to use a different term is the thing that is dumb. Add to this that the term is alive and well in the larger theological and philosophical discourse (i.e. larger than our small church), and it becomes more dumb. Add to that the fact that the people telling me not to say “free agency” are under the ridiculous assumption that “free” before agency means something about whether choices have consequences, and I start to get annoyed. If the terms have the same meaning, then why can’t we just chill out. Aren’t there actual problems we could spend our effort on?]]>
1754 FIELDING Voy. Lisbon (1755) 129, I would rob him of nothing but that *free-agency which is the cause of all the corruption..of human nature. 1786 BURKE W. Hastings Wks. 1842 II. 205 The restoration of the Mogul..to his free-agency in the conduct of his affairs. 1860 PUSEY Min. Proph. 324 He so wills to be freely loved..that He does not force our free-agency.
Its definition of agency, “1. The faculty of an agent or of acting; active working or operation; action, activity,” doesn’t implicate freedom at all and, in its examples under agency, mentions agency, moral agency, and free agency:
1658 SIR H. SLINGSBY Diary (1836) 208 Privacy..if your Hours in it are not well employed, may become as dangerous as a place of agency. 1762 EDWARDS Freed. Will I. v. (R.) The moral agency of the Supreme Being..differs in that respect from the moral agency of created intelligent beings. 1830 COLERIDGE Ch. & St. 140 The State shall leave the largest portion of personal free agency to each of its citizens, that is compatible with the free agency of all.
So, as best I can tell, anyone who uses “free agency” is in good, and old, company.]]>
You are probably right about that. The real problem is that neither term is very well defined. I would prefer using the words we really mean like free will or moral agency. (Or if we wanted to get technical even libertarian free will, which is what we really mean 98% of the time.) To me, “agency” is far too nebulous and imprecise and “free agency” is only slightly less so.]]>
But I still think you are wrong. “Agency” as a word in the context of our doctrine covers just as much ground as “Free Agency”. Therefore, saying free agency is dumb. Or I guess I should say dumb dumbness.]]>
Well if it helps, I blame the surging popularity of talking like a pirate on Elder Perry…]]>
I actually agree with not calling agency “free agency” but in response to the above (all clearly earlier on…not later than the 70s):
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay: “Free agency is the impelling source of the soul’s progress. Free agency is a gift of God.”
Thomas S. Monson, “The 3 R’s of Free Agency,” New Era, Apr 1973, 4
Right, Responsibility, Results
I would like to discuss with you the three R’s of free agency: the right of choice, the responsibility of choice, and the results of choice.
It was also used by John Taylor, Joseph F. Smith, and Spencer W. Kimball, and I didn’t finish looking through the search. Suffice it to say that the term has been used. Obviously, that concept is being clarified by our current leaders, and that should mean more to us than anything from the past.
And this isn’t authoritative as in from a church authority, but I thought it was funny considering this discussion…an article by Daniel Ludlow about “Moral Free Agency.” (Daniel H. Ludlow, “Moral Free Agency,” New Era, Nov 1976, 44)]]>
Why can’t it be L. Tom Perry’s fault once in a while?]]>